Scruffy bunkers will be a hazard whether you're playing The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club forward or backward. (Courtesy of Forest Dunes G.C.) Tom Doak designed The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club to be played forward and backward. (Courtesy of Forest Dunes G.C.) The "Blue" routing of The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club is a par 71. (Courtesy of Forest Dunes G.C.) The "Red" routing of The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club is a traditional par 72, one shot more than the par-71 Blue. (Courtesy of Forest Dunes G.C.) The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club will be a walking-only experience with caddies available. (Courtesy of Forest Dunes G.C.)

The Loop -- Tom Doak's reversible golf course -- to debut June 27 at Forest Dunes G.C. in northern Michigan

To move golf forward, architect Tom Doak looked backward.

Golfers have been playing the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland backwards for generations.

The concept inspired Doak to create one of the country's most anticipated course openings of the last decade -- The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club, an 18-hole routing in Roscommon, a tiny outpost in northern Michigan, that can be played forward one day and backward the next.

The Loop will debut June 27, bringing to fruition a concept Doak has said he has been thinking about for 30 years.

"It's sure got a lot of people talking about Forest Dunes," Doak said in a statement. "I get asked about the reversible course everywhere I go, and probably half the people just think I'm crazy and are hoping for proof!"

The top-100-ranked original Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course at Forest Dunes is pure Michigan. But adding two "new" courses for essentially the price of one makes great economic sense when most people consider the game of golf's growth to be stagnant.

Forest Dunes now offers "three courses" on 1,300 acres in the secluded Huron National Forest. Everybody will want to play The Loop forward and backward -- the 6,786-yard, par-72 "Red" loop and the 6,861-yard, par-71 "Blue" loop -- which virtually guarantees selling golfers a stay-and-play package that includes at least one night's lodging at the club's 14-room Lake AuSable Lodge, golf villas or cottages. The longer golfers stay, the more they eat and drink. The experience will be walking only with caddies available.

"I had high expectations for the course, but it's even better than I thought," new Forest Dunes General Manager/Director of Golf Chad Maveus said.

Jun 06, 2016

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.